If your definition of leadership is wrapped up in an individual, put Teams that Thrive aside. It makes great sense that this book is co-authored considering its focus on collaborative leadership. To emphasize this point further, each of the 14 chapters concludes with a brief “expert commentary” by leaders including Ed Stetzer, Will Mancini, Crawford Loritts and Jim Tomberlin. In the words of Patrick Lencioni (quoted in the book), “teamwork is not a virtue. It is a choice—and a strategic one.” The book is divided into four parts. The first three parts are largely diagnostic (Is your leadership working as a team?), and an apologetic for team leadership. I was impressed by the level of serious quantitative statistical research that included a sample of 1,000 leadership teams among 253 churches. If you do not need to be convinced about the value/priority of team leadership, skip the first three parts and focus on part four where the authors share the five disciplines. These disciplines include focus on purpose, leverage differences in team members, rely on inspiration more than control, intentionally structure decision-making process, and build a structure of continuous collaboration. Within each of these disciplines, the authors offer the reader helpful “Two-Minute Tips” as practical application tools. In part five the authors provide six ways to avoid sabotaging your team (e.g., embracing the status quo, adopting the latest fad advice then return to normal operations, reinforcing the ultimate authority of the lead pastor) to help catalyze teams that thrive.
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